How to Make the Best of Your Internship by Intern Stacey

StaceyThis goes out to all of you who may be preparing for an internship or are already in one. As an intern myself I know how hard and scary it can be to take that next step into the professional working world. You want to strive to be the best intern that they have ever hired and that is definitely not an easy task. So, I thought it would be helpful to share my tips, strategies, do’s and don’ts, and advice on the topic. By all means, I am not an expert, but I think it’s important to get as many different perspectives as you can. In the end, that will give you valuable insight into how you can be a professional and successful intern.

Stacey’s Top 7 Strategies: Being the Best and Making the Most of Your Internship (in no specific order)

1. Go above and beyond your call of duty

  • You are more likely to receive favorable reviews if you exceed your employer’s expectations.
  • For example, as a marketing intern if you are expected to update the design and look of two brochures, you could exceed expectations by updating three or four.

2. Display positive energy and enthusiasm

  • It’s much easier to work with someone who is eager and excited to work on a project and get it done than it is to work with a “Debbie downer” or “lazy Susan”.
  • Maintaining a positive outlook/attitude while at the internship is a necessity.
  • Having good energy and enthusiasm shows you are happy in your position and therefore more successful.

3. Network, Network, Network

  • An internship is a great experience, but also enables you to make connections in your field.
  • You will of course be working closer with your immediate supervisor and other co-workers in your area, but with your supervisor’s permission, ask others within the company for a little chunk of time to meet and inform you of their positions.

4. Produce portfolio fillers

  • An internship is a great way to add experience to your resume, but it can also be a good way of providing completed projects, positive performance evaluations, and letters of recommendation for future job searching/interviewing.
  • Providing examples of the work you have completed can also serve as a way to sell yourself to other employers and gives you a chance to show off your talents.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. An internship is a learning experience and you are not expected to know everything.

  • Seek out advice and ask questions whenever you encounter something that is unfamiliar to you.
  • Always have an open mind when it comes to new ideas, projects, procedures, etc. You do not know everything and your professors don’t teach you everything.
  • Questions are a great way to learn and show that it is not beneath you to get help or show signs of struggle.
  • The more questions the better and there are never any stupid questions.

6. Set goals

  • It will be very helpful for you to create a list of the things you wish to accomplish during your internship.
  • Make sure your goals are measurable and attainable for you.
  • You will feel good as you achieve your goals.

7. Be organized and efficient

  • Create some sort of organizational system that works best for you.
  • It is important to stay on top of tasks/projects especially if your job has you doing various things.
  • Manage your time wisely
  • No procrastination

Last, but certainly not least, remember to have some fun and enjoy yourself and be sure to take in the constructive criticism to help you grow professionally. Internships are such great experience and may lead to long lasting friendships, connections, and memories so it’s important to have a little fun while you’re working.

Here’s to being the best and making your experiences as an intern count. Go show them what you got!

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